Evaluating Academic Sources
Much of university life is based on good research skills. Of course, like all good skills it needs practice and strategies to be effective and efficient. At first, many students find it difficult to identify 'credible' and 'trustworthy' sources that can be used in their essays and assignments. However, a good knowledge of evaluative source tools (like the C.R.A.A.P Test) and understanding in the principles of Peer Review Processes are highly beneficial in identifying key sources.
A guide to evaluating sources (The C.R.A.A.P Test)
The CRAAP Test is a list of questions to help you evaluate the information you find. The different criteria of the C.R.A.A.P Test is a really important guide on what exactly you need for your assignment / research / or evidence.
Evaluating Information Video by University of South Australia
This video describes the key points / questions of the C.R.A.A.P test and helps you understand how to use it to evaluate whether a source is academically credible?
The C.R.A.A.P Test - a guide to evaluating sources - UoSA
This University of South Australia video explains what is the C.R.A.A.P Test and how to use it to evaluate all types of information. This worksheet helps students to understand what is considered a 'credible' source and how to check this using an evaluation tool. Example. Level: ***** [B2/C1] / Video [03.17]
Peer Review Process
The journal peer review process is an arduous and time-consuming procedure that involves a set of principles to ensure journal articles are reviewed to a very high standard. In fact, it is quite common for journals to reject up to 90% of the articles they receive. Wiley, a journal article producer, uses the below model to review potential scholarly articles.
Peer Review Video - by NC State University
This informative video highlights how an academic scholar submits an article to a journal publishing company and the 'Peer Review Process' it goes through before it is published. There is a worksheet that accompanies the video to help consolidate the process.
The Academic Journal Peer Review Process - NC State University
This NC State university video explains how an academic scholar submits a research paper to a journal publishing company and the full process the article goes through before it is published. This listening and worksheet helps students to understand what is considered a credible source and why. Example Level: ***** [B2/C1] / Video [03.15]
Credible Academic Sources
What types of sources should I use for writing academic essays?
Credible sources are generally texts that can be trusted and authoritative. These would be texts with support in terms of reliable evidence (facts, data, statistics) and often referring to previous work by academic authors. The most common credible sources are scholarly journals, conference papers and books because these have been peer-reviewed (read and approved for publication by other authors). However, there are good websites that can be used generally ending in .gov / .edu / .ac.
Primary and Secondary Sources
Two types of sources Primary and Secondary. A primary source is main primary source this can be raw data, records and key facts. A secondary source draws on the primary data and analyses it.
Key questions to ask when evaluating source material
Is there an author? Date?
Is there evidence? Where is it from? Sourced?
Is there a reference list? And in-text referencing?
Generally, there shouldn’t be glossy pictures or advertising.
It should be written in an academic formal style and quite difficult to read.